From lightsticks to Kpop apparel, below is a gift guide for the undoubtedly growing number of die-hard Kpop stans in your life!
Kpop fans are perhaps best known for their extreme dedication to their favorite Kpop groups. One of the most important ways fans show their loyalty and support is to purchase their group’s merchandise or “merch”– an expression of love by fans that is feeding a multi-billion dollar industry.
Kpop groups and stars drop so much merch and so often, that it is challenging to keep up with it all. Each comeback, sometimes occurring every few months, always comes with a whole new collection of merchandise.
One may think that having so many options makes it simpler to choose a gift for your Kpop stan friend or family member, but in actuality, it can be overwhelming. Here’s what you need to know to find the perfect gift that will light up your Kpop loving friends and family, along with my top 10 Kpop merch gifts!
A Kpop lightstick is a must-have item for Kpop fans. It is a way for the fans to unite and show their ardent support to their favorite Kpop band. If you are lucky enough to get tickets to a Kpop concert of your favorite group, you absolutely need a lightstick! The fans use these lightsticks to cheer up their idols and each group has its own unique lightstick design. Lightsticks sold by groups’ official merch stores often sell out quickly, but you can find them at retailers like K-Pop Town, Cokodive, Ktown4U, and others on Amazon.
2. K-pop Albums
The first thing you should find out is whether your loved one or friend has the albums for his or her favorite K-pop group. If not, the best gift choice is to buy that new album or the one he or she does not have. Kpop “albums” are actually CDs, but they make wonderful gifts because, in addition to the CD, they include several extras such as photo books, photo cards, posters, and stickers! In fact, most Kpop stans buy the album, not necessarily for the CD itself, but rather, for all the extras that come with it and to display the album cover among other albums in his or her collection. If your loved one or friend’s favorite group has had a recent comeback, surprising them with their favorite Kpop group’s latest album never fails.
Kpop photocard collecting has now become an extremely popular hobby among Kpop fans. In fact, some rare photo cards have a resale trading value of several hundred dollars among collectors! It’s common nowadays to collect a few photo cards that come with the purchase of an album of a particular group or soloist. But a good way to kickstart your photo card collection is to get a photo card set for your favorite group or groups! For example, this photocard set for NCT 127!
If your Kpop stan has a significant album collection, he or she likely has a lot of photo cards but nowhere to store them! A photo card binder is a fabulous way to safely store and protect their growing collection.
5. CD Player
CD players have not been a thing since the 1990s, but they are making a comeback largely thanks to the Kpop merch phenomenon! While fans collect Kpop albums, it’s usually not so they can play the CD inside. Giving this gadget will encourage the Kpop fan in your life to actually listen to their CD collection!
The BT21 characters were created back a few years ago when BTS joined LINE Friends’ Creators initiative. The characters were inspired by drawings created by the seven BTS members, with one representing each member. These characters come in plushies of all sizes, socks, phone cases, keychains, and more! These limited edition items are highly desired and tend to sell out!
One of the best holiday gifts for Kpop fans might be the Season’s Greetings Kit! When December comes around, Kpop groups usually start releasing their Season’s Greetings Kit, which is composed of a calendar, a monthly or weekly journal, and other cute extras like stickers, memo boards, and posters. It also includes collectible photo cards of Kpop artists and reminders of their birthdays or anniversaries.
Official Kpop Websites such as Weverse Shop and SM Entertainment Shop sell official apparel such as hoodies, beanies, socks, sweatpants, and sweatshirts. These items are often released every time the group has a comeback. They can be pricey or sold out. But you can also find cheaper and similar items from unofficial shops such as Redbubble and others found on Amazon and Etsy! Unlike albums or lightsticks, your Kpop fan friend can use these apparel gifts more often.
Official Kpop merchandise also includes jewelry and other accessories. SM Entertainment, for example, celebrates their artists’ birthdays by releasing customized jewelry like bracelets, key rings, and necklaces. Again, the official jewelry merch can be pricey, sold out almost immediately, or have long lead times for delivery. But you can also find similar items from unofficial shops found on Amazon and Etsy.
10. K-pop Concert Tickets
Many top Kpop groups such as Twice, Ateez, Monsta X, and NCT 127 have announced world tours after a long pandemic hiatus! If they are coming to your area, get these high-value items quickly! I guarantee that your Kpop stan friend or family member will be forever grateful! Personally, I have strategically put only concert tickets on my Christmas wish list to my family, whom I’m hoping reads this and gets the additional subtle hint!